University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1892
61st ([1892])

Reports of agents in Washington,   pp. 487-511 PDF (12.8 MB)

Page 511

REPORTS OF       AGENTS IN     WASHINGTON.                  511 
they had milk, butter, and cheese; but they can not feed the cows at home,
and the cows will 
not come home to be milked. I get along by keeping a supply of condensed
Beekeeping is impossible, as everything is barren and dry in summer, except
alongthe water 
courses, many of which run dry, while the cattle stay in the mountains. 
If it be borne in mind that our reservation has an area of 1.250 square miles.
and that the  I 
homes of the Indians are scattered over this large tract without regard to
anything but to be 
located near water. and that there is ni) such thing as a village or even
three houses near to- 
gether, it will enable one to understand the difficulty in the way of organizing
societies, or of 
getting together at stated times. 
We have had a weekly prayer meeting, and I have had a weekly sewing class
(in which I fur- 
nished materials and gave the women all the articles made), but with the
same result-sometimes 
a few attend, at other times not one, and never a really good attendance.
In addition to the long 
distances most of-them must travel to reach any place of meeting, their habit
of going to the 
mountains in spring for edible roots, in summer for berries, to the Columbia
for salmon, to 
the hop fields in September, and sometimes to the mountains again for hunting,
makes so 
many breaks that no organized work can prosper under such conditions. 
This also interferes with proper care of the sick, as they are often out
of reach of the physi- 
cian or anyone else who can help them. No one can go everywhere that they
go, and as we 
do not always know when they are away. the field .atron has driven many miles
only to find 
closed houses in many instances. Even when away from their homes they are
scattered so 
that the children of different families are not much together except at school.
They do not seem to need instruction in play, but I have given scrapbooks
of pictures, dolls, 
and other things to the little girls, and have tried to do whatever I have
had opportunity for. 
It is not only impracticable to enamerate all the directions in which a field
matron can lend 
her aid, but it is impossible to limit the good that must result from the
loving service of Chris- 
tian women who live among Indian women and seek to lend a hand in His name.
I would 
most respectfully suggest and recommend that instead of one field matron
for a brief time we 
have two or more all the year round, that the work may be more quickly and
thoroughly done. 
My work as field matron has been for but a few months, and I have been able
to reach only 
a part of the reservation: but ii mi)y hinFh le position as missionary I
shall, by the dear Lord's 
help. continue my work, though  i may not 1now how inuch I have been able
to help until the 
great books are opened. 
Very respectfully submitted.                                EMILY C. MILLER.
FORT SIMCOE, WASH., A'tgust 30, 1892. 
SIR: In compliance with official instructions I have the honor to-present
this, my first annual 
report of Wilbur boarding school for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1892.
School has been in session nine months, with a total enrollment of 126. Average
second quarter, 80; third quarter, 112; fourth quarter, 117; average for
the year, 103. 
Although the sanitary condition of the school premises is none of the best,
the general health 
has been excellent. But four deaths have occurred, three from lung diseases
and one from 
The building for the girls' department is an excellent one, but all the other
school buildings 
are in a bad state of repair. 
The water supply is inadequate during the dry season. This serious defect,
I think, can be 
remedied by an artesian well, since the conditions appear favorable for securing
a good flow at 
no great depth. If the sinking of an artesian well be considered too costly
an experiment I 
would recommend the erection of a windmill. Abundance of water can be secured
at a depth 
of 20 feet. 
In the schoolrooms excellent work has been done. The teachers, three in number,
are faith- 
ful and progressive, and the results of their labors compare favorably with
similar grades in 
white schools. The employ6s all seem to be alive to the great importance
of faithful work in 
preparing these young people for American citizenship, and are anxious that
the school shall 
record greater advancement the coming year than ever before. 
For a number of years past the farm has produced little, but we are able
to report good re- 
sults at this time, owing to an extremely early spring and an unusually large
amount of rain. 
Twelve acres of oats yielded over 400 bushels; 4 acres of potatoes, not dug
yet, about 300 bushels; 
one-half acre peas, over 100 bushels in pods; five-eighths acres carrots,
2 tons; one-fourth 
acre turnips, 100 bushels; besides plenty of beans, beets, radishes, lettuce,
and onions. 
The boys of the school have done the farming and gardening, besides doing
a considerable 
amount of repairing and improvement of buildings and grounds. 
Finally, I desire to recognize the hearty cobperation of the agent, Mr. Lynch,
in all my efforts 
to advance the school, and to express my hearty appreciation of the very
considerate treat- 
ment I have receivei at the hands of the Department of Indian Affairs. 
Respectfully submitted. 
................... .................     SAqerintcV1dlcnt, 

Go up to Top of Page